Seeking women doing pull-ups or chin-ups in movies and television shows
July 24, 2018 11:40 AM   Subscribe

Can you suggest scenes from fiction movies or television shows that depict women doing pull-ups or chin-ups?

Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2 is probably the ur-example of what I'm looking for. Jennette Goldstein as Vasquez in Aliens is another instance from that heady late-80s/early-90s era.

There are some deeply unconvincing examples of women doing these in the tv versions of both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Terminator--those are good, too!

I'd also be interested in any examples depicted in comics and graphic novels you know of.

Thank you in advance!
posted by Hellgirl to Society & Culture (20 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
G.I. Jane
posted by 20 year lurk at 11:42 AM on July 24, 2018 [4 favorites]

posted by ubiquity at 11:53 AM on July 24, 2018

The film itself is ... questionable (and as a lover of Alias I say this with difficulty), but there is a workout montage about 20min into Elektra that features Jennifer Garner doing one-arm pull-ups.
posted by myotahapea at 11:55 AM on July 24, 2018

Teen Wolf season 3 episode 4 shows Cora doing pull ups around 11m17s into the episode.
posted by sperose at 12:02 PM on July 24, 2018

I believe it's actually in Angel that we see Faith doing her prison pull-up routine.
posted by praemunire at 12:08 PM on July 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

Does the salmon ladder count? If so, here's Arrow's Black Canary (II). Here is the actress learning how to do it.

From the same show, here is Felicity being much less successful on the ladder despite getting help from Oliver (starts around 1:10)
posted by sardonyx at 12:38 PM on July 24, 2018

I just last night saw one of the gals on GLOW (Netflix, great show) doing pull-ups.
posted by TochterAusElysium at 12:42 PM on July 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

In Eureka, Grace is doing pull-ups in Season 4 (some other women too I think.)
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 1:08 PM on July 24, 2018

[A few comments deleted. Linda Hamilton in T2, and Vasquez from Aliens, are mentioned in the question, so no need to suggest those.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:16 PM on July 24, 2018

I have a soft spot for cheesy/terrible gymnastics movies and I'm pretty sure lots of them will have it in a training montage (I recall pull-ups in Stick It).
posted by TwoStride at 1:40 PM on July 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

Cara Gee as Drummer in The Expanse, early in season 3? Might be some other kind of obviously strenuous upper-arm thingie. Also, in universe, probably not doing them at 1g.

I don't think we see Frankie Adams as Bobbie doing pull ups, but she does arm-rassle unoccupied power armor.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 1:50 PM on July 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

Feds was about an odd-couple of women trying to break into the old boys’ club at the FBI academy. I remember the nerdy sidekick lady gradually working her way up to one exercise and/or the other.

Made me feel pretttttttty hopeful about making the national physical fitness requirement that school year, but all for naught. I was able to reenact the pizza-eating contest with much better accuracy.

It was apparently terrible? I was young enough to be very impressed at the time.
posted by armeowda at 3:08 PM on July 24, 2018

Cara Gee as Drummer in The Expanse, early in season 3? Might be some other kind of obviously strenuous upper-arm thingie. Also, in universe, probably not doing them at 1g.

Those weren't pull-ups, but inverted crunches. Still badass, but more core- than arm-focused.
posted by myotahapea at 5:53 PM on July 24, 2018

Isn't there something in X-Men: First Class where Mystique is training while in human form?
posted by twoplussix at 6:35 PM on July 24, 2018

The opening scene of TV Show Angie Tribeca (S1E1) is absurdist, but the pull-up is quite realistic.
posted by matrixclown at 6:51 PM on July 24, 2018

An Officer and a Gentleman.
posted by Melismata at 8:08 PM on July 24, 2018

There is an episode of My Name is Earl called The Bounty Hunter that features an amazing Juliette Lewis training montage, complete with pull-ups.
posted by helloimjennsco at 8:09 AM on July 25, 2018

These examples are AMAZING. I've marked those that gave me enough info to find the actual clips as best answers, but I appreciate all of these enormously, and I'll keep hunting for relevant scenes in Haywire, Feds, X-Men: First Class, and An Officer and a Gentleman.

I love that the exercises in these scenes are evolving into newer variations of badassery over time - myotahapea's one-armed pullup and sardonyx's salmon ladder examples were fantastic.

In other news, I didn't even know there existed an entire genre of cheesy/terrible gynmnastic movies, and my life will never be the same again. Thanks, TwoStride!

Thank you so much for all these answers - I'll keep an eye on this thread in case more come in!
posted by Hellgirl at 8:23 AM on July 25, 2018

Not sure if you're specifically after examples in TV and movies or just any example of bad-ass women performing pull ups... but Annie Thorisdottir is all kinds of bad-ass.
posted by Ness at 8:31 AM on July 25, 2018

Speaking of Alias, Jennifer Garner does pull-ups there too. I specifically remember an episode in which she pulled herself up onto the pipes running along the ceiling and then held herself up there. (She was pretending to be the girlfriend of a billionaire and deciding whether or not to buy expensive art, for her ruse.)

And Buffy the tv show, I think there's a number of them, but I remember her pulling herself up onto the roof of her school in one episode.
posted by Margalo Epps at 9:53 PM on July 25, 2018

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